One man under pressure going into Round 1 is Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs new half, Kieran Foran.
Bought to the club by then former Bulldogs coach Des Hasler, it will be interesting to see how Kieran adjust to his new team and coach Dean Pay.
It is only two years ago Foran was anointed Parramatta's saviour and the best signing the club had ever made by Eels legend Peter Sterling. Nine games into to his Parramatta career it was all over, with Foran walking out on his reported four-year $4.8 million contract.
I won't go into the personal details of why he walked away lest to say a family separation and falling out can get to anyone, even our sporting heroes.
With his personal life being subjected to media scrutiny, reports of gambling problems and keeping company with some of Sydney's more colourful characters, the once proud confident young man looked lost and in pain. His association with his "friends" had him in the spotlights of the NRL integrity unit.
Speculation had him retiring or signing with Canterbury to be with his ex-Manly mentor Des Hasler. As much as both would have loved to have made that move, the Bulldogs salary cap was exhausted.
From left field, the Warriors took him in for a year to help him get his life sorted and away from the temptations of Sydney. His form with the Warriors was very up and down. He was definitely committed but injuries hampered him for most of the year. The best thing to see was he looked happier and focused.
Des Hasler and Raelene Castle were the architects of Foran's signature with Canterbury on what would be a decent paying three-year contract. Both Hasler and Castle are now gone.
I'm sure new coach Dean Pay would see Foran as a great addition to a team that for the past few years has been bereft of quality half backs. Foran would be well within his rights to be disappointed that Hasler was sacked though.
The allure of the Bulldogs to Foran would have been linking up with Hasler again. Listening to Pay talk about wanting to free up his playmakers will suit Foran's game.
An injury-free Kieran Foran will, in my opinion, be a great signing. I won't say the greatest signing the club has ever made but he might end up there with Terry Lamb if he can bring success to the club.
Still young at 27 years of age, he is in what should be the prime of his career. Foran is a winner and he will drag his team up with him by his actions. Bulldogs fans will need to give him time to gel with the team.
With Moses Mbye, Foran and Michael Lichaa they are developing a good spine.
The Bulldogs are back. The boardroom is sorted and Lynn Anderson brings the spirit of her late father the bullfrog Peter Moore. Old boy Dean Pay has the clipboard and whistle. Aaron Woods has joined up with his best mate David Klemmer and Kieran Foran looks fit happy and ready to go!
If he can stay fit, I will say he will be the buy of the year and become a favourite son at the family club.
What do you think Kieran Foran: good buy or bust?
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